How your name can be your worst enemy


How your name can be your worst enemy

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 by Paul White

When I first started up whitesites, I was looking for a name that would be easy to remember, and that went along with what I did. So I took  my last name along with what I build to get whitesites.  But its funny what some people think of when you tell them your company name is whitesites.

When I first started searching google to see what searching for "white sites" pulled up, I was kind of nervous.  As what I got was a bunch of nazi skin head, white power websites that is definately not what I am about.  One of my first clients even asked me if WhiteSites was some sort of directory of white power websites.  I assured them I was not.  Its been years since then, and I haven't had any more problems with people mistaking my name and the service I provide.  However my humorous side did get a few twisted ideas of how I could better market my services to these politically motivated niche markets. 

Here are a few domains I joked about creating, ( these are ficticious )

WhitePowerWebsites.com


A template system for nazis, to built their own websites to help the cause.

MyGihadSpace.com


Help grow your global terror network, through this myspace clone for terrorists.

MyWMDs.com


Create a profile to proudly display your home's arsenal.  Clone based on the cardomain.com website

YouBomb.com


For those do it yourselvers what always wanted to strape a bunch of TNT to your chest and cause havok within your community.  This site provides detailed tutorials, videos, and photos of how to do it.

But this got me thinking about so many other products and how the biggest hurddle they would every have to overcome was the name.  Here are a few examples.

Chevy Nova


This car was built in the 1970s.  Most Americans think of the Nova as a muscle car.  The later version in the 80s / 90s was a compact car.  But if you take the word NOVA and translate it into its spanish meaning, means "No Go".  This as a result hurt sales in the spainish speaking communities.

Windows Vista


First of all Americans are used to having numerically based names for computer products like hardware and software.  When a company names their product Widget 1.0, and then Widget 2.0.  People naturally believe that the 2.0 version is newer and better.  Thus they have a desire to buy the new product.  But when you take an operating system like. Windows XP.  Which should have been named Windows 5.0  to begin with, and name the next version Windows Vista.  People tend to think that Maybe Windows Vista is intended for spainish speaking households.  After all Americans don't have an image of quality when they think of the spanish lanugage and products that come from such countries.  If Microsoft had named Windows Vista something like Windows 6.0. They would have seen a much better reaction from consumers.  As a result the next version of the Windows OS will be named Windows 7.

Summary


Next time you are trying to think of a name for your website or product, think of the perception people will have when they first hear it.  Make sure this first impression won't corner you into one policatally movitated niche market. 

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